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When to shave after pickling?

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Rgvmelb, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. Rgvmelb

    Rgvmelb Member

    As the title suggests, I'm wondering when is the best time to start shaving a cape after going into the pickle? I started with a bone dry cape which I know wasn't ideal, but I thought it would rehydrate in the pickle. It is, but it's still pretty stiff. It's only been a few days and has gotten better, but will it come good with time or does it need to be shaved to help it along?

    I'm using citric acid and the pH is between 1-2 and have been stiring it at least once a day. Thanks.
  2. rogerswildlife

    rogerswildlife Rogers Wildlife Taxidermy Tommy Rogers

    The cape should have been rehydrated before going into the pickle. I leave them in for at least 3 days and then shave and back in the pickle for another 24 hours . I don't think you will get any stretch back out of that cape because you didn't rehydrate it first .

  3. Denton Shearin

    Denton Shearin 2009-Breakthrough Award, McKenzie Award,

    When you put a cape that has not been rehydrated into the pickle, the surface of the skin can lock down and not let the pickle penetrate completely. When that happens, you can get a surface tan. That's what causes stiff spots or areas in the Cape.

    If there are no other problems with the Cape, you might want to pull it, neutralize it and then go ahead and rehydrate it then start over in the pickle.

    I would call the technical department for the tan that you are using and discuss it with them. They should be able to help you figure out what to do.
  4. Rhino

    Rhino Too many irons in the fire will put the fire out!

    It will eventually rehydrate in the pickle, but it's going to take it a long time without a round drum. Tannerys do that quite often with wet drums. The mechanical agitation of a wet drum makes that possible. Adding to that, a skin rehydrates from both sides. Through the hair side, as well as the skin side. You were correct with your first assumption. Just shave off a light layer, and it will eventually pickle all the way. Nothing weird is going to happen, like has been mentioned!?? Just shave carefully so it doesn't bite in. A rehydration is a rehydration . One just takes a lot longer than another because of salt. You shouldn't rehydrate in a pickle though, if I need to say that.
  5. RTF

    RTF Active Member

    You can add Kemal or a other relaxer to your pickle which will aid in the hide re hydrating. I don't do it any more do to time constraints, but I have re hydrated many skins in a pickle of over the years.
  6. Bruce_Rittel

    Bruce_Rittel Consultant Services

    The purpose of a Pickle is to prepare the skin or cape before you tan it - but unless you allow the Pickle to penetrate and slightly "plump" the piece (the Salt in it actually only slightly swells the skin or cape) so it can be shaved easily - you're not accomplishing much! Altho I'm aware some Acids may Acidify faster then others when used for your Pickle - I always stress the 3 day rule. Leave the relaxed load in the Pickle at least 3 days before you shave, wash, or degrease them. AND Always after you finish shaving, washing, or degreasing, return them to the Pickle for 24 hours to reacidify! Using the 3 day rule will avoid mistakes - like taking them out too soon - especially when training new helpers in your Shop or Studio. Like a few of the Posts posted here - always only put Relaxed skins or capes in your Pickle - do not use it to rehydrate a dried piece. Good advice!
  7. Rgvmelb

    Rgvmelb Member

    Thanks very much for everyone's help. I just come inside after shaving it. I've done a pretty good job of ruining it, but this is only the third time I've used the machine and I've only learned from youtube so not to bad I guess. I've definitely learned a lot so far and I know what I've been doing wrong after I make mistakes at least. Thanks again for everyone's help.

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    To make life easier rehydrate completely before pickling and shaving....